Steve McCurry teams up with new Montreal gallery
Photographer's 1st Canadian exposition runs until June 30 in Old Port
A defiant young Afghan woman stared into Steve McCurry's lens over 30 years ago and beamed out from the cover of National Geographic as one of the publication's most iconic images.
McCurry's fascination with Afghans endures, and their striking portraits can be found on the walls of Montreal's Galerie Got until June 30.
- Video performance artist Joan Jonas's pioneering work now in Montreal
- Rediscovering the lost genius of Edmund Alleyn
"Afghans have some of the most interesting faces in the world," McCurry told CBC Montreal's Homerun.
Many of the works on display feature images from Afghanistan and its people. McCurry hopes to one day create a book based solely on Afghanistan.
McCurry spends most of his time travelling and shadowing locals. He estimates he may have spent 10 days at home over the course of the past year.
His personal interests as a photographer rest with human situations, even in areas of upheaval and danger.
"I literally was the only foreigner in 19 days [I spent working in the] streets," he said of one visit to Afghanistan where foreigners would never leave their guarded buildings or cars.
He said insurance policies wouldn't cover them if they did.
His work has taken him into physically threatening situations.
Such as the time he ended up following a local friend under a bridge and someone didn't like his camera. They came at him with a meat clever.
"He was clearly high. And it just struck me – I don't mind being stabbed, but to get a meat cleaver through my head? That would really be a terrible thing."
McCurry maintains that he doesn't seek out conflict situations but can't shake the intrigue he feels towards tumultuous areas.
"You always think you're at the end of the story, that things are improving," he said of his visits to Afghanistan over the decades.
"But it feels like we're more in the middle of the story and things continue to, in many ways, spiral out of control."
McCurry has recently faced accusations of photoshopping his pictures in a way which conflicts with the code of ethics for photojournalists.
Photojournalists are allowed to alter contrasts and tone in their photos but not manipulate more tangible aspects of the image, like removing people or objects, which some accuse him of doing in some of his photographs.